THE FARMER'S WEATHER report is the only accurate one around here. Last Saturday, as the weather cuties on television were warning of a huge rain storm that would smack NorCal by Monday, the farmers said it wouldn't rain for another week but it would get real cold indeed. Sure 'nuff, no rain, a half dozen lost snow flakes and real cold. Just like the farmers said it would be. All over The Valley people's pipes froze, mine included. As a rural person, I should have at least remembered to keep a tap dripping, but… But so long as the pipes don't burst, and most don't, it's merely another minor disaster avoided, kinda like getting through the winter with no chimney fire. The Major claims he remembers when it got down to 9 degrees. Dave Severn says he remembers 11. I say it's never gotten below 20, and if it did, it did it Monday night. Google tells me it was 22.
AL GREEN'S Greenwood Ridge Dragons have won the 52-plus *national* baseball championship, the triumphant Dragons, among them Al, who can still hit and run the bases, took the Long Island Yankees, 5-2.
THE HOLIDAYS, the community and local food will be celebrated at the Philo Grange *this* Sunday evening, December 13th, at 5:30pm. "For the Holiday Community Potluck and Sing-Along bring a side dish or dessert, enough for 6-8 people. Include as many ingredients as you can muster, and your own plates and utensils. Locally raised heritage turkeys and lamb and wild pork roasts, stuffing, mashed spuds and gravy will be provided." This is an alcohol-free event but alcoholics are perfectly welcome, imperfections and all. For info call Suzy at 895-2330. Co-sponsored by the AV Grange and the AV Local Foodshed.
THE LONG ARM of the law is about to reach out to snag the high school kid who's selling ecstasy, a speedy hallucinogen that one of the vandals claimed had inspired his participation in last week's assault on the high school plant. AVCAC, pronounced av-cack, the Anderson Valley Community Coalition, whose members greet each other with muted rooster crows rather than a secret Masonic-like handshake, met Tuesday night to mull over the vandalism.
AS EXPECTED, Branson School of Ross, Marin County, easily romped to another Redwood Classic basketball championship last weekend in the Boonville gym. The Boonville boys acquitted themselves well, giving St. Vincent's of Petaluma all the game they could handle before succumbing, 57-47. Big John Paula led the Panthers with 22 points. The Boonville five also knocked off International of San Francisco, 71-57. This time Omar Ferreyra racked up 26 points, Paula 16. South Fork squeaked by the Panthers 66-64 with Omar Ferreyra again unstoppable with 25 points. Coach Jim Boudoures says his team is young and relatively inexperience, but he expects sophomore Garrett Mezzanato to come on strong the more he plays with Noe Benevides improving every game.
THE PHILO POST office says it was their biggest mass mailing ever, the reference being to Candy Slotte and Friends going all out to collect Christmas packages for the troops at the Afghan-Iraq front. An onlooker said he stopped counting at 224. Mrs. Slotte, of course, is the mother of Jesse Slotte who was nearly killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.
AMONG THE MANY things local libs get completely wrong is their hostility to the armed services as an option, often the only option, to success in adult life for local youth. Yes, a kid might get killed, but the odds are heavily that he won't be killed. Chances that he'll drive drunk into a redwood or get shot in a pot patch are more likely than him or her buying it from an Islamic maniac. Yes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are preposterous and not worth one kid getting killed let alone several thousand. But looking around what do you see for the typical Mendo County high school graduate? Nothing. I had zero options coming out of high school many years ago myself, and I opted for the Marines. If it weren't for sports I would have dropped out of high school. I don't regret going into the Marines. It was good for me. Additionally and moreover, those of you who know something about the history of this country, will remember that it was the wonderful world of sports and the military, those two institutions, that achieved what ethnic harmony we've since achieved in this country. Sports and the military threw us all in together and, for the most part, it was good for us, and very good for US. The two kids who just trashed the high school? Excellent candidates for a four-year turn in the Army.
MATT EAQUINTO IS UPS's guy for Anderson Valley. As a kid, Matt lived here. An outstanding basketball player himself who still hits the boards in men's leagues, Matt's two sons are also pretty good at hoops, with one son playing for Bill Heath's Ukiah High School Wildcats, another seeing a lot of action for Mendocino College.
ATTABOYS for Paul Hanson for playing Sinatra last Sunday night, the music and the Christmas lights brightening the frigid gloom of a cold, cold night, and a double attaboy for Norman deVall for his many hours of volunteer work on behalf of Marcos Escareno, the Point Arena kid accused, under extremely dubious circumstances, of shooting to death a dope dealer named Enoc Cruz. Without deVall's advocacy, Escareno's chances for justice would have been greatly reduced. While we're handing out the attaboys, I was reading a kind of commemorative piece in a recent Chronicle about the Indian's occupation of Alcatraz forty years ago when I was reminded that it was none other than our former supervisor, *before* he was supervisor, who ran re-supply missions out to Alcatraz for the Indians in his sail boat. Which was kinda risky considering the feds were real unhappy about the occupation and were running interdiction ops on San Francisco Bay.
THE UNIVERSITY of California will present a regional workshop with a focus on specialty crops and strategies that local small-scale farmers can use to select new enterprises. Registration is a bargain at $10, especially considering the tenner includes lunch and "materials." The workshop will take place at the ghastly-but-don't-be-deterred-by-the-venue Hampton Inn, Ukiah, next Wednesday (December 16th), 9am -3pm. Info at 263-6838.
GREG KROUSE WRITES: “I was one of the Big Band listeners and dancers Saturday night at Lauren's Restaurant. Yahoo! Let me tell you they were tops! I always enjoy them, but they were particularly hot and the high attendance for this on a chilly night indicated I was not alone in my enjoyment. Kept a lot of us oldies out later than usual. I don't know all of the performers names, but there were great sounds out of every part of the band, some sweet sax solos, repartee, trumpet and Trombone, plus nice keyboard guitar sounds. Bob Day always floats some nice rifts. Bob Ayers whopped some good music out of these folks and those singers were great too: Mitchell, Patrice and Sharon. Mitchell was almost channeling Bobby Darin and Sharon was knocking off some great tunes, hands gesturing and clearly on some sort of cloud. Sorry to miss the every scintillating Kevin on drums, but Crash Dean Pederson always fills a nice tasty groove. There was just too much nice music to target a few songs. I had visions of my folks dancing in a big ballroom to this sort of music and well, it was sweet! The music would sweep around the room and then dash back to the other side, great arrangements! I do want to say that I regret missing the Dixie Devils and hope they will return with lots more notice. I have heard only great things about this subset of the big band. thanks to these folks for a great night and sorry those who missed it did. Next time, get there!”